In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, a couple of former players recall early experiences at Chelsea and there is more speculation concerning a summer transfer target.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Terry expresses gratitude to Vialli
According to Metro, John Terry’s long career at Chelsea might never have been if not for Gianluca Vialli, who prevented the young defender from moving to Huddersfield Town 20 years ago.
Our long-time captain is third on the list of most appearances for the club with 717 games for the Blues from 1999 to 2017. However, he nearly left the club as a teenager when Steve Bruce made an offer to take him to Yorkshire in 2000.
As Terry explained in an Instagram Q&A, the transfer could have gone through if Vialli had not put his foot down and rejected the move.
‘Chelsea accepted a bid and Vialli said no,’ said the former defender.
‘Obviously I’m very thankful to Luca, who also gave me my debut. Great man, great manager.’
The only other transfer offer the Chelsea legend is aware of during his time with the Blue came from Manchester City in 2009.
‘Man City approached Chelsea, made an official offer,’ Terry continued.
‘Simple as this, I sat with the owner, face-to-face and said “I never want to leave Chelsea, that’s a fact. If you want to sell me then it’s a different story. But I’m telling you off the bat that I never want to leave this football club”.
‘Within that, I was due a new contract, we shook hands on a new contract, agreed a deal and I stayed another five, six years after that.’
Sidwell relates shirt number episode.’
Steve Sidwell has told The Athletic that he didn’t know how to react when he was surprisingly handed the No9 shirt by Jose Mourinho shortly after he arrived at Chelsea in 2007.
The midfielder was told he would be wearing the shirt number traditionally worn by the team’s main striker when he joined the club from Reading.
‘Mourinho was sitting there at the front and he says, “Steve, you’re going to wear No. 9 this year,”’ said Sidwell.
‘Every player who joins a new club looks at the numbers available and I’d seen the numbers 9, 14 and others that went upwards from there. I just assumed I may get the No. 14 at a push.
‘I didn’t know whether he was just testing me. If I said, “No thanks” it would look like I had a weakness in my mentality. If I say “Yes”, it may have been that he was only joking. But I thought at least I’d then show him I had the balls to wear it. So I said “Yes” and it turned out he was being serious.
‘When I told people, my mates and family, everyone was just laughing. Obviously the number has a lot of history relating to top centre-forwards and that wasn’t me. I went on to score one goal for Chelsea.’
Sidwell played 25 games for the Blues during his lone season a Stamford Bridge in 2007/08 before he moved to Aston Villa.
Blues given loan or buy options on Coutinho
The Sun reports Chelsea could either take Philippe Coutinho on loan or buy him outright this summer as Barcelona look to let the Brazilian move on.
According to the report, Bayern Munich have opted not to make his season-long loan permanent, leaving Chelsea and Arsenal as favourites to sign the midfielder, who joined Barca from Liverpool in a big-money move two years ago.
‘The 27-year-old has had an average spell in Germany, and Nou Camp chiefs have all-but given up on him making it in Spain,’ states the report.
‘Barcelona have struggled to find an outright buyer for Coutinho, as they look to claw back some of the £142million paid to the Reds in 2018.
‘SunSports understands the ex-Inter Milan ace is available on another season-long loan, or a deal for around £75m could be struck.
‘Interested clubs, which include Manchester City, would also only have to pay around half of his £290,000-a-week wages.‘Quique Setien's team want him off their books completely but might struggle for a buyer given the uncertainty around the transfer market.’